U’s could sign Lisbie for third spell

COLCHESTER United will look at the possibility of bringing former favourite Kevin Lisbie back to the club for a third spell this summer once he’s released by Ipswich Town.

Blues boss Paul Jewell confirmed recently that the 32-year-old striker would be let go this summer following a disastrous three-year spell at the club.

After a mediocre first season at the Suffolk club, he was loaned back to Colchester in League One the following campaign and has spent the third and final year of his Ipswich contract on loan at Championship rivals Millwall.

He has started just 10 games and scored four goals in 23 appearances for the London club this season.

The front man – who has been ruled out for the last few games of the campaign after injuring ankle ligaments last weekend – may now have to look at a return to League One next season.

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And a return to Colchester – the club where he scored 30 goals over two separate spells and has spoken so fondly of in the past – could be a possibility according to assistant manager Joe Dunne.

“He’s a player we will look at,” confirmed the Irishman, who is working closely with manager John Ward to draw up a list of transfer targets for the summer.

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“I’m sure he’ll have no shortage of clubs going for him though because he’s scored goals wherever he’s been. He’s one of probably many players we’ll look to.”

The Colchester United squad made the long trip to Carlisle yesterday and are due to train in the north west today prior to their match against the Cumbrians tomorrow afternoon.

Seven points off the top six with five games to play, the Essex club’s chances of finishing in the play-offs are very slim. It is therefore no surprise that work on forming next season’s squad is already well under way.

Key players David Perkins and Steven Gillespie have both been offered new contracts, while a number of teenage players set to be released by Premier League clubs have featured on trial for the U’s reserves in recent weeks.

“We know the positions we want to fill and the areas we want to improve,” said Dunne.

“People have said to me, why aren’t we looking at more Premier League reserve team players?

“When we got promoted in 2006 we had (Neil) Danns and (Richard) Garcia but back then it was a different market.

“In our league at that time the champions were Southend and we were second. Now you’ve got Huddersfield, Charlton, MK Dons, lots of teams that can attract the top players quicker than we can.

“There’s also the financial side of things. Some of these guys are probably already on more money than our current guys are on. Do you take a chance on them or do you go for experience? If you’re bringing them in you’ve got to play them because otherwise they’re just taking up your resources.

“We’ve tried to lay down the way we want to do things this season and next season we know the areas we want to improve and tweak.

“We’re looking at who’s playing and who’s not playing at various clubs.

“You’re going through the Sunday papers highlighting benches really. It takes up a lot of your time but it helps you understand who might potentially be available.”

– For full match preview of Colchester’s trip to Carlisle, see tomorrow’s EADT.

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